Fear of woman stepped in, and my heart sank. Oh great. Not only did I have a rather uninteresting conversion, I have a real downer of a Valentine's Day story. In my mind's eye, this combination seemed like a wet woolen blanket guaranteed to dampen the rest of the discussion. Maybe I could go last and not ruin the evening.
As I waited for my turn, I prayed, "Lord, You're going to have to help me. I don't have a happily-ever-after story, and I don't want to pretend to be something I'm not." He answered my prayer by gently reminding me that my story isn't about me, it's about Him.
It's not about who has the most exciting conversion or the most romantic engagement or the best this or that. There is no competition. What is important is the fact that God reached down in time and space through the power of the Holy Spirit and brought dead women to life. He custom-tailored our lives to bring us to Himself and transform us into the image of Christ, so nothing is wasted. And as we share life together in the body of Christ, our stories overlap and intertwine. God is glorified as He weaves them together when we encourage one another and share our joys and sorrows.
So there was no damper that evening. I left with a greater appreciation for my sisters and also a greater wonder that we are part of something even bigger than this local church in this little slice of time. Our stories are part of the One Story that God has been writing from Creation until the final consummation. There have been many saints before us and perhaps many more to follow. Each story is precious. Each story is unique. But they find their place and true meaning in God's story1.
Each of our lives is a story. And with each new person we meet, we become a part of their story, and they become a part of ours. The God who created the universe has somehow woven together these billions of stories into one story which is the greatest story ever told…2
1. Inspired in part by the 2014 Theology Conference with Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, particularly sermon #4 - Passing on a Story that Leaves an Impression.
2. The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shai Linne, ©2008 Lamp Mode Recordings.